Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bentley Rose

Since reading the pregnancy test back in November, I have thought and spoken about 'July 22, 2013' constantly. It's really weird having an exact day that your whole world will change forever, yet calming that you know when it will happen. So after my due date came and passed, I spent every moment holding my breath. I tried to ready myself for every possible scenario- my water breaking while shopping at the exchange, active labor kicking in while sitting in traffic on 58, not being able to get a hold of Bryan at work and having to give birth on my couch.. I got to the point where I was terrified to leave the house.

Thankfully, none of the nightmarish possibilities came to pass. It was 3:45pm July 24th when I started to get pretty uncomfortable, and after talking to a couple people and really paying attention to the discomfort, I realized I was in the early stages of labor. When contractions were coming every 8-10 minutes, I figured it was as good a time as any to pack my hospital bag. Bryan came home from work and didn't take my claims too seriously.. probably because we were lounging around and every once in a while I'd say "oh, yep. there's another one". We watched a movie, ate dinner, and went to bed. 2AM rolled around and contractions were every 5 minutes. I had a mom and mom-in-law advising me to get going to the hospital, but I was REALLY wanting to avoid showing up, being told I was being a weenie, and getting sent home. So I waited.  For.. about 10 minutes, and then I woke Bryan up and told him it was go time.

I'll spare you from having to read about the condition of my uterus upon arrival, so let's just say I was immediately checked into Labor&Delivery and given a room. I was happy my numbers stood as evidence to the staff that I was actually laboring, because I caught a fair share of eye rolls for being goofy and relaxed.

Some blood sampling, paperwork, and Lord of the Rings later, I actually started to feel some pain! Which I hear is pretty standard when you're having contractions every minute. 

--Fast forward through the failed epidural, family back in the States texting every minute for updates, and hours of pushing--
And.. this is why I force myself to blog. Because I don't want to forget that after the 24 hours of labor, 2 hours of excruciating pain, and being surrounded by doctors, nurses, IVs, and catheters, the room became silent. For about 5 minutes, I really can't recall hearing anything. It was just me, Bryan, and our tiny little baby that had just been placed in my arms.

Bentley Rose is 2 weeks old today, and I still haven't wrapped my head around the fact that she is mine. She sleeps all day and keeps me up all night, but her sweet little spirit makes it well worth being confined to the house and looking like a zombie on the daily.

Life with a newborn is definitely tiring, but Bryan and I have been loving learning how to be parents together. We don't know what we're doing, but it's been fun pretending like we do!

ANDDD in just a few days, Bentley will get to meet her Nana, Uncle J-Man, and fur sister June!! In the meantime, I'll just be spending my days soaking in the baby cuddles, and taking an embarrassing amount of pictures of my doll baby!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Forever to Go

Bryan and I were married in Atlanta on June 3, 2011. June 3, 2012 he was off at boot camp, and I was back in Georgia celebrating with our families. But June 3, 2013 we were able to celebrate TOGETHER! It was awesome. Would I have guessed that our first anniversary together would be spent with a big ol' baby belly? No. It was a sweet reminder, though, of the life and sweetness that our love has created.

Anyway- Bryan surprised me with a stay at the Marriott Resort & Spa in Nago (about an hour and a half north of us) and had already taken care of the reservation and requesting leave from his shop, so all I needed to do was pack my bags. Upon checking in, we got bumped up to the executive suite, and spent the entirety of our time there feeling like celebs. The seven indoor/outdoor pools, hot tubs, buffets, and all else made for an incredible stay, and I sported my bikini, flaunting my 8-month prego belly proudly!

And how could I forget?? In addition to the romantic getaway, Bry surprised me with a 60D Canon.. a camera that I feel WAY under qualified to be handling, but I'm ecstatic that I now have an incredible camera to document our little one's big day, and every day afterwards!

Now we're just waiting for our baby girl to get here! As of today we're 42 days away from the due date.. which still sounds insanely far away, but trying to stay patient since we know there's some crucial cooking goin on in there. As much as we've loved our time being alone and just having each other, we're excited to share our love with our little sweetheart. Can't wait to meet you, Baby T!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Everything

It's hard to know where or when to start when pretty much EVERY single thing in my life has changed since I last blogged.

First off, my last entry made it sound like I was going to be able to live in Florida and even potentially with Bryan- neither happened. We took turns visiting as often as we could, but the ideal accommodations couldn't be made, so I lived in Georgia while Bryan completed his A school in Pensacola, and then C school in Jacksonville. (Each about 6 hours away from me).

November 18th I visited my good friend Lexi and her new doll baby Ryder, and she was telling me the few small indicators she noticed that led her to think she was pregnant. My smile quickly shifted to an expression of panic upon hearing how similar her indicators were to the ones I'd been experiencing for the last few days. Having to leave to go to a family dinner for Brittany's birthday, I swung by CVS on the way down. By the time I arrived at the party I was laughing at myself for being so worked up, knowing I wasn't actually pregnant, but decided to take the test to ease my mind. 
It's funny how one little word immediately changes you and your life forever. Once I got my hands to stop shaking, I called Bryan (in Jacksonville) and had to repeat myself about 3 times before he understood what I was saying, through all my blubbering and what not. I love Bryan for lots of reasons, but one is how perfect his reactions always are. He immediately burst into laughter and kept saying over and over how excited he was and how happy this would make us. He's gonna be a sweet daddy.

So, that's how I learned I was going to be a mom. The biggest news I figured I'd ever receive.. until 10 days later it was Bryan making the call to me- He had just received orders to Okinawa, Japan for a 36-month tour.

After months of paperwork, stress, and goodbyes, we're in Japan! There are many husbands here who were unable to bring their wives with them for various reasons, so I feel blessed that I'm able to be here. And, honestly, after 10 months of living away from each other, we couldn't care less where we are stationed.. just excited that we're together again! 

A few days shy of 5 months pregnant, we know that it will be a little girl that we're bringing into the world, and the clothes are accumulating quickly. We are using ugly government furniture for the next month or so until our shipment arrives, but even IT can't take away from the adorable outfits stacking up on the shelves.

We've been here for about 3 weeks now, and it's been really fun exploring and eating our way through the island. The weather is incredible (I think the coldest we've experience thus far is low 60s) and nothing beats leaving the grocery store and having a perfect view of ocean and palm trees.

So far it's been a pregnant girl's heaven- carbs in every meal and some of the most fresh, juicy fruit I've ever encountered. Bryan's been loving the sushi.. and his baby mama can't wait until she can join him!

Despite the awkward 14-hour time difference from home, missing our little Junebug, and being 7,048 miles from our nearest family.. we love being on this island. Now that internet is set up, we're starting to feel more civilized, and can't wait until our shipment of things arrives so we can really make this place our own!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Moving On

I've had a lot of good days in my life, but seeing Bryan for the first time in San Diego was right up there with our wedding day. The following 10 days truthfully felt like I was the star of a chick flick. The man I had spent the last 3 months worrying about, writing to, and thinking of incessantly was real and was as proud of me as I was of him.

The cliche phrase "you never know what you have until it's gone" rang so true. Now that I've had a taste of the "until it's gone", I can't help but pity those who allow petty arguments and differences to affect their relationships. Bryan and I spent his 10 days of leave smiling. We said "I love you" over and over, often at the same time. We've learned quickly that in the military world, you just have to make every second count. I don't have the luxury of going to bed mad or staying stubborn until I've made my point anymore. When the next separation is always just around the corner, you can't do anything other than love each other every minute.

And, what do you know, letting yourself fall hopelessly deep in love makes you happier!

I dropped Bryan off at the SLC airport around 5am after his leave ended and physically hurt watching him walk away. It was overwhelming seeing people stop and stare at the man in uniform. MY man in uniform!

Since then, though, time has really started picking up. I see him in 18 days already? Child's play!

Just to catch everyone up to speed- I leave in a couple weeks for Camp Pendleton for the 2 days Bryan has liberty before graduating from MCT and then he is immediately shipped out to his MOS schooling. June and I will slowly but surely be working our way out to join him so we can see each other as often as possible.

So, we're suddenly days away from leaving Utah!
   Things I'll miss: Butlers, Friends, Jamba
   Things I won't:  Utah Drivers, Ceaseless Construction, Mountains, Dryness

I can't wait to jump into our new life together.. our first of many destinations and adventures!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

California Bound

Well.. Boot camp is just about over! It's been 83 days since I saw Bryan and I can't think of a vivid enough adjective to describe how ecstatic I am to see him in 4 DAYS!!

Anyway, I have a ton of packing to do so let's just get to it.

I started eating healthy/getting back into shape at the start of week 2, and have lost 14 pounds but more importantly am feeling awesome. I didn't do any strict diet, I didn't stick with any specific workout, I've just been taking care of myself and getting healthier every day!

Here's a side-by-side of me the day that Bryan left for boot camp (yes, I purposely chose the least flattering shot) next to post-workout a few days ago.

Not too shabby, eh? And no fancy editing here, my Finishing Touch Smile pen has made my teeth nice and pearly! Far more exciting than my before and afters, though, are Bryan's!

Isn't he so incredibly handsome?? Well, my 14 is chump change next to the 30 pounds Bryan has lost, but I'll take what I can get! Regardless, I'm bikini-ready for my man and SO ready to have 10 full days of husband time.

It's weird always being told "You're so strong for being able to handle all of this!" because, well, it's not like I've been dreaming of growing up to be the wife that spends months alone.  I'm strong because that's the only option I have. Of course I've been lonely, I'm just as human as everyone else. But I suck it up and am willing to continue sucking it up because it's a challenge I accepted and have to make the best out of it. And, well, if you had a Marine that good looking you would cope with the time apart, too!

Thanks, all, for the constant outpouring of support- it was a long 3 months but would have been far longer without y'all! I'm now going to finish packing up my bags because I'll be beaching it with my soldier in just a handful of days :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Phone Call

I figured I probably wouldn't have much to write about until graduation, but today was definitely worth remembering!

It was 3:15 and I was sitting at my desk at work when my phone started vibrating-- Unknown number from "San Diego Area" and I thought my heart was going to fly out of my chest. I answered after the first ring and immediately started running outside knowing how terrible the cell reception is in the office. I heard Bryan say: "Dana?" right before the call dropped. By then I was outside and frantically started calling the number back over and over again each time hearing "I'm sorry, your call cannot be completed at this time" (shouldn't have been surprised it was a one-way phone). I stumbled to the picnic table, tears already forming, devastated as I realized I may have missed my chance to talk to Bryan-- AGAIN. But, then, my phone started ringing.

His voice was so hoarse it was barely recognizable, but it was still my Bryan. A couple weirdly-serious-Marine-things slipped out but then he'd immediately go back to his old, normal self. The phone call was 3.5 minutes long, most of which was spent listening to each other cry and laugh at the same time. But, even with so few words, it was the most exciting conversation I've ever had. I could HEAR him say he loves me and I could say it back! At the end of the call, a drill instructor's booming voice started barking at Bryan and Bryan responded back with lots of "Yes, sir!" "No, sir!" We exchanged one last round of "I love you's" and then that was it.

3.5 minutes is a cruel amount of time to have to talk to you husband.. Especially when you haven't heard his voice in 64 days. But it reminded me of what I'm waiting for, and how worth all of this already has been for our relationship.

I missed the chance to speak with Bryan on our 1 year wedding anniversary, but we coincidentally got to speak on the 2 year anniversary of meeting each other. We met June 25, 2010 and stayed up talking until 7am the next morning. After getting home, I called my mom from Idaho and told her about the amazing guy I had met and told her I was going to marry him one day. She laughed, but here we are 2 years later- married and going through this new, huge adventure together.

I promise the next post will be back to my working out/weight loss-- my life is pretty cheesy these days, every once in a while I just have to let out the mushy stuff!
Summer, 2010

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not Alone

There's no way to write everything that has happened since I last wrote. Since my last entry, I've been to Georgia, missed the chance to hear Bryan's voice, found a much needed hidden letter, and had a strange meeting with someone who met Bry at boot camp.

Georgia was the greatest and hardest week thus far. Being surrounded by so many people who love Bryan (almost) as much I do was incredible. There were several highlights of the trip, but spending our anniversary with family was really important to me. The flowers, cake, letter from B, and most of all getting to be around family made for a great day! Anniversary aside, it was hard not to feel emotional throughout the night- Bryan's favorite thing in the world is when his family comes together. Such a simple thing, but nothing makes him happier.
Three days later, I read a Facebook status belonging to a girlfriend of a recruit in Bryan's platoon- she had gotten to speak to her man on the phone but thought it was so weird the number showed as a Florida area code. My stomach dropped to my feet immediately remembering I had 2 missed calls from a Florida number on our anniversary night. I don't know how much begging he had to do, but Bryan called me TWO TIMES during the anniversary dinner. And, to top it all off, my voicemail is broken so he couldn't even leave a message. My heart hurt for the rest of the trip.

Since that devastating night, though, bizarre/wonderful things have kept happening. I stumbled upon a letter from Bry hidden away in a magazine saying exactly what I needed to hear- "I love you" written in a hundred different ways. At the time, I couldn't imagine receiving any greater reassurance that I was being watched over.. until today! A new guy was put onto my team at work this morning. We were standing around waiting for the conference room to open up when I noticed how he was standing- feet shoulder-width apart, arms folded behind his back, and head held high. I asked him if he was in the military and he grinned. Long story short- he had just come back from Camp Pendleton on medical discharge. I grabbed a picture of Bryan from my desk and he started laughing. "I always saw him at Church on Sundays.. he has the biggest smile!" And I stayed teary-eyed for the rest of the day.

It's hard not to feel sorry for yourself when you have a cold place in your bed where your sweetheart should be. But it's worth it to be able to hear that even among hard Marines (and being transformed into one himself), Bryan is still known for his smile.

As JL Tyner says, "You know why Bryan is always smiling? Because he's happy."